Alabama columnist rips GOP governor for using education funds to help 'struggling whitewater park'
Alabama reminded the U.S. how deeply Republican it is in 2020, when now-President Joe Biden lost the state to then-President Donald Trump by around 26 percent and Democratic then-Sen. Doug Jones lost to GOP challenger Tommy Tuberville by about 21 percent. Democrats are a minority party in Alabama, where columnist Kyle Whitmire has criticized the Alabama Democratic Party for being poorly organized and criticized the Alabama GOP from a policy standpoint.
Whitmire slams Republican Gov. Kay Ivey's plans for the state's education budget in his March 25 column for AL.com.
Whitmire points out that Ivey has proposed taking more than $300 million that was set aside for education and using it for non-education purposes that include building a prison and creating a rafting park in Montgomery County. The latter would cost $25 million.
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"This week," according to Whitmire, "Ivey gave lawmakers her proposed budget for the $2 billion surplus in state education funds. At least $331 million of that money would go to projects and expenses unrelated to schools and teachers and classrooms. Among those is $25 million for the Montgomery County Commission for economic development…. Gov. Kay Ivey's office won't come out and say it, but they want Alabama lawmakers to approve using education dollars to build a waterpark or perhaps a hotel or restaurant next to it."
Whitmire continues, "But here's the thing — you can't tell any of that from what Ivey gave lawmakers this week. You can't tell what a lot of other things on Ivey's wish list are, either. And lawmakers are scratching their heads."
The journalist criticizes Ivey, a former Democrat turned Republican, for not being more forthcoming about the state's education budget.
"Ivey could have come clean from the start," Whitmire argues. "If she thinks funding a struggling whitewater park is more important than education, she should make that clear instead of sneaking it into her budget. Rather than shoot straight, Kay Ivey tried to take us for a ride."
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Read Kyle Whitmire’s full column at this link.
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